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PSA: Clearly, we are surviving

9 May

If you meet someone, and it is obvious that they are in a difficult financial situation, don’t ask them how they are surviving.

Just don’t.

It doesn’t matter if you are just curious. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a difficult financial situation too. It doesn’t matter if you are only trying to help. Don’t ask them that question. It is inappropriate, and rather frankly, none of your business. It’s like asking someone how much money they make, or what their mortgage payment is. Just don’t go there.

Since the advent of this economic downturn, the horror that keeps on horrifying, I have met a lot of people who are having a hard time.  After awhile, they will sometimes volunteer information about their financial status and what they are doing to make ends meet. Some of them are borrowing thousands of dollars each month from family members. Some of them live in their parents’ basement, or in low-income housing. Some of them are in school and their grades are good enough that they are receiving a full scholarship for them and their family. Some of them have had to turn to social assistance. Sometimes it’s a combination of some or all of the above.

On more occasions than I can even remember, I have been the uncomfortable recipient of the inquiry, “How do you survive?”

“How much is your rent?”

“How much does your husband get in student loans?”

Really? I mean, really? I should not even have to be writing this post right now, but clearly, people are mistakenly of the impression that this line of questioning is acceptable, so I’m going to throw out a PSA on behalf of all my fellow recession victims and student parents:

Upon finding out that my husband is in school, we have two children, and I only work part time (more on my job later), do not ask me to give you a breakdown of how much our monthly Child Tax Credit is, what we pay for rent, and how much my husband receives in scholarships and grants.

Don’t go there. Just don’t. Does it really matter HOW we are surviving? Clearly, we are surviving, and that is what matters.

End Rant.